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Stuart Broad returns to inspire Oakhamians

Published by Oakham School on Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

International cricket star Stuart Broad returned to Oakham School to give an insightful talk to current pupils and staff about resilience in sport.

Stuart took the time to visit his former school before heading off to join his England teammates at their training camp. He took part in a Q&A session with Director of Sport Iain Simpson, where he answered a range of questions about his cricketing career and how he copes with the demands the sport places on him both mentally and physically. The event was part of Oakham's extensive Sports Scholar programme, where students are given the chance to hone all aspects of their sporting talents.

Stuart, one of England's star bowlers, began his cricketing career aged 11 at Oakham. During the event, he said, 'I did all my learning here at Oakham, as well as in the back garden at home.' He then went on during the course of the lecture to cite some of the particular techniques and approaches he had learnt during his time at Oakham that he had found to be most useful. In particular, when asked the question, 'How do you decide which coach to listen to?' he recalled his time with the then Director of Cricket, Frank Hayes, and how he had advised him to 'not make it too complicated, and to break it all down to its simplest form'. Stuart went on to say, 'You have to try to take everything in and filter out what works.' He outlined that he would always 'give advice a good go, as you have to constantly try to tweak your game', but that you also have to 'back your natural ability, as this will take you a long way.'

During his talk, Stuart also described the demands of playing international cricket; in particular, the volume of travel they have to contend with. He stated that he will be away for 321 nights in 2015, and how he has coping mechanisms in place to deal with being away for such long periods of time. He described the intensity of being on tour, calling it the 'touring bubble', and how you need to be resilient to look after yourself.

When questions were opened out to the packed audience of pupils and staff, Stuart was quizzed about a range of topics, including his training schedule and nutrition plans, his performance in specific games, and how he deals with the media attention. As a result, the pupils were given some fascinating insights into his training schedule; from how often he trains, to the differing levels of intensity depending on how close a match is. He also described how he tries to balance the strict nutritional scrutiny he undergoes with 'feeding the soul' (chocolate brownies were mentioned!). He then gave the pupils an incredibly detailed outline of his routines before a match, which they found to be a personal insight into his technique and mental stamina.

He left students with some startlingly clear advice on how to exceed: 'Make your basics better than anyone else's' and 'Whilst it is good to have flair and get complicated, the key is to keep those basics strong.'

It was a hugely enjoyable evening for both students and staff. Director of Sport, Iain Simpson ended the evening by thanking Stuart for the pleasure he gives to thousands of current and old Oakhamians who have enjoyed supporting him throughout his career.

Stuart Broad returns to inspire Oakhamians - Photo 1Stuart Broad returns to inspire Oakhamians - Photo 2
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